Marks & Spencer's new Chief Executive Steve Rowe has warned profits at the retailer will be hit whilst the company undergoes a turnaround.Read the full story ›
Marks & Spencer has reported a 4.3% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £689.6 million for the year to the start of April - but its new boss says profits will take a hit as he announced price cuts and a revamp of its clothing range.
Steve Rowe, who took over from Marc Bolland as chief executive last month, said M&S will reduce everyday prices while cutting back on promotions and clearance sales.
He said the store will remain focused on quality through "fabric, fit and finish" and reduce the number of product lines in its autumn/winter ranges.
In effort to improve customer service, more staff will be put in store, particularly in cafes and changing rooms.
Our results last year were mixed. We continued to outperform on food but we underperformed on clothing and home sales. This is not satisfactory and today we are outlining our initial plans to address the issues and to position Marks & Spencer to deliver profitable sales growth.
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Marks & Spencer has reported a 6.1% rise in underlying annual pre-tax profits to £661.2 million.
The rise in profits was driven by an "outstanding year" in food sales which M&S said had exceeded expectations in "a difficult market".
However, the group admitted general merchandise sales "did not meet expectations" despite claiming an improvement in style and quality.
Marc Bolland, the firm's chief executive, said: “We are transforming M&S into a stronger, more agile business – putting the right infrastructure, capabilities and talent in place to drive our strategic priorities.”
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Like-for-like sales in Marks & Spencer's general merchandise division slumped 5.8% in the 13 weeks to December 27, the store has reported.
The store's worse-than-expected results were exacerbated by online delivery problems over the Christmas period.
M&S says its clothing sector performance was impacted by the unseasonal weather conditions in October and November.